Monday, May 30, 2011

Completely Uninspired

Yep, I discovered Pinterest, just like everyone else recently. (follow me?) While the photos are totally inspiring, when I sit down to create (bags, quilts, logos), I'm just completely devoid of any creativity. Hi, Strong Creative not-so-much.

However, tonight in a cleaning frenzy, I think I figured it out. Welcome to my office(slash-diningroom-slash-cat bathroom):

Some things seriously need to change. That broken Dell, the pile of bills to file, the excess of wires, the hidden chaos behind the curtain, the exposed litter box (DIY suggestions?) I need places to stash papers and crap, with labels, so things aren't arbitrarily shoved in boxes when guests come over. I LOVE the wood art piece, it's actually a coffee table my grandpa (graphic artist and jewelry designer) designed and built. I need color, calm, a mouse pad, and a place to jot notes to myself. Also, while we're at it, maybe I should replace the print cartridges in my printer? It's been two years, but I work for a print shop, so it isn't exactly first priority. I also have a old, HUGE cork board in the garage, just waiting for spray paint and a fabric background.

Luckily, our dear Pinterest (no, really, follow me) has some awesome work spaces.

Source: None via Rachel on Pinterest

Source: None via Ariel on Pinterest

Source: via eqart on Pinterest

Love the frames, and the bookshelf, carving out a little colorful workspace.

LOVE that yellow fireplace in the background! Colorful spaces like this blend well into my kid-toy cluttered life.

Small, but functional.

Source: via Mel on Pinterest

Love the elastic memo board!

Clearly, I'm not into "fussy". More controlled, colorful chaos. (say that 3x fast). White background, with pops of color…I love the idea of keeping the organizational tools (shelves, boxes, etc) the same color as the wall, to let everything that's hidden in the boxes just disappear into thin air. Yep, I like that.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mo' projects, mo' problems!

I guess the more I create, the less I blog! Sorry about that…I'm in the midst of a million things right now. Tell people you're making your Creative company legit, and requests come from all over the place!

First and foremost, I've come up with my logo! Drum roll please……

Oh yeah, totally legit. As my awesome-designer-friend-slash-best-client Jeni and I agreed, the sketched "SC" evokes the handmade quality of the craftier side of my business, while the black+grey, text only logo keeps everything serious enough for the design and marketing consulting aspect of the business (while yet still to come).

Being a print rep in my real life, I designed the business card first, then decided on my logo….keep things 2-color or less, people! Mo' colors, mo' money!! Use fewer colors, and you'll be able to get more expensive paper…if you're doing a short business card run, the super fancy, expensive paper is SUPER affordable, since you only need a few sheets. Aaaand that was my Printer Tip of The Day.

Next most awesome thing, is that I finished the prototype tote bag to sell at Pilates Napa Valley, my mom's Pilates studio. I was able to whip it up in one Saturday, while Delaney learned how to climb on top of the coffee table. Hey, I have my priorities in check, people. I showed her how to get down on her own ;)

Prototype Tote in the window of Pilates Napa Valley!

Anyway, back to the bag. It's awesome. And I'm selling this smaller size for $45. After I emailed Jeni an iPhone picture at midnight after I finished it, she ordered TWO tote bags (laptop tote, and general toting) in the same fabric as her yoga bag. This is not a week after I finished her Bed Suite (duvet, shams, accent pillows). We're kinda obsessed with finding what else I can come up with for her.

THEN! After seeing my bag at Pilates Napa Valley, one of the pilatistas ordered a custom tote! I also did some other throw pillows for a coworker last weekend, and another friend has ordered a business card holder. Time to set up my Etsy store, and a biz checking account, don't you think? My biggest issue now is finding the time to get everything done….

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mom's Quilt

Sorry if this is a bit redundant, but I haven't posted a full picture of this quilt yet! Now that my sissy is home safe and sound, it's perfectly appropriate to get back to the more superficial Mother's Day presents. :)

This quilt was based off of Fabric Worm's 5-Points Quilt, made from the excessive fabric bundles I bought a few months ago (from who else? FabricWorm. Duh.)

I used a light blue flannel from Hancock, and Kona Snow for the white bits. Now I'm working on a similar quilt for my mother-in-law, using Trevor's old dress shirts! Stay tuned....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Quilt to Comfort

So, as I've become better at this quilting/sewing/creative thing, of course my mind starts to move towards the commercial benefits of my talents. In fact, the past two weeks I've been pulling together paper work to make Strong Creative legit, and start making some extra cash for the family (or, at least be able to write off my fabric purchases!)

However, Thursday night put everything into perspective. My sister, my Hannie, Aunty Ha, watched Delaney during the day while I was at work. When I got home, the two lazy butts were sleeping on the couch. I woke them up, and rushed out of the house so I could avoid traffic and get home. Hanna mentioned going to the ER for a doctors note for work (she had called off with headache the day before), but I wasn't the least bit concerned. She doesn't have a primary doctor, and has come to know the local ER docs quite well over the past couple years.

This time was different. The doctor that saw her remembered her, and didn't like her headache symptoms one bit. So, they ordered a CT scan and spinal tap, and discovered a mass in her brain. After 5+ hours in the ER, they ordered a medical transport to take her to UCSF for an MRI and further monitoring. I found out at 12:30am as my mom followed the ambulance into the city, and I couldn't sleep. I was still awake when Trevor's alarm went off at 3am, and still awake when he went back to bed after calling off of work to be with us. Because the Royal Wedding wasn't distracting enough, I got to finishing my mom's Mother's Day quilt. It was a project, I had to focus, and not cry. As the night wore on, I kept thinking of my little sister in a cold hospital; of my divorced parents sitting in a waiting room for hours without answers. I wanted to rush out of the house and be with them, but with the baby here, and no news until morning, I had few options. Each row of quilting brought me 15min closer to my sister, to some answers.

After 6 hours of sewing, the quilt was done. I sat in the dark at my machine from 4:30am-10:30am, and Han's MRI had been rescheduled until 12:45. Trevor drove up to my mom's house to gather items she needed, giving me time to quilt and bind. I so badly wanted to be there, to hug my sister, to hug my mom. Tears poured when Kate Middleton's sister and maid-of-honor picked up her gown train, when my bobbin tangled, when I found the receipt from the lunch I bought Hanna in exchange for her babysitting on Thursday. When we got to the hospital, she was sleeping, and my mom found some comfort in the quilt for a few hours. When Hanna woke up, I brought it in to her, and it's been on her bed (and on her "personal items" claim sheet) ever since.

Monday she had surgery, and today we finally found out that her tumor is benign! It was a neurocytoma, a ventricle tumor that usually appears in young people. The doctor said it was calcified, so it had likely been in there since she was a child. While the quilt was a Mother's Day present for my mom, I think having all her babies safe at home is even better. Besides, I don't know if she's getting that quilt back now, Hanna has bonded with it!

But this is why we quilt. Yes, the quilts can be works of art, the can be sold, or awarded fabulous prizes. But ultimately, it's a gift of warmth, comfort, and protection. I know that quilt was with my sister at all times when we weren't able to be, a constant reminder of the family who loved her and wanted her well. Now, it will come home, be washed of the hospital smell, and be folded next to other blankets, but this one will always be a little bit more special.

quilt is based on Fabric Worm's 5-Point Quilt Tutorial...full post to come soon!